Regular gym buffs may no longer have a store in Eppley Recreation Center dedicated to athletic gear, but the trade-off is a “cutting-edge” training studio.
A functional training studio seemed like a more efficient use of space than the Pro Shop, officials said, given the rising popularity of fitness programs such as CrossFit and P90X — of which U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), former vice-presidential candidate, is a fan — and back-to-basics fitness including intervals of pushups, squats, sit-ups and other exercises. The $10,200 studio will feature foam rollers, stability balls, medicine balls, resistance bands, suspension trainers, ab coasters, Plyo-Rebounders and an open space in the middle of the room, said Brianne Rowh, assistant fitness director.
“Open space was a bit of a premium in our existing weight rooms, as well as room to store all of those independent tools,” Rowh said. “We wanted space that allowed for that type of program area.”
The decision to transform the space was not influenced by business at the Pro Shop, where students could buy Terps gear, health food and equipment. Instead, Campus Recreation Services officials have discussed how to better use that space for about a year now, said Brent Flynn, CRS associate business director.
But that doesn’t mean people can no longer buy the Pro Shop’s merchandise. The training equipment will be moved to other areas of the gym and the health food will be available at Sneakers Cafe. Students will only be losing a place to purchase Terps gear, like T-shirts, shorts and bathing suits.
“I feel like there are tons of places on campus to buy Terps gear,” said sophomore biology major Nicole Rusconi.
The studio, which is scheduled to open this summer, CRS officials said, will improve students’ ability to more effectively train by providing them with weekly personal training programs.
“If you walk by the upper weight room at 5 now, you’ll see that there’s a ton of functional training already going on, and it’s very crowded,” Rowh said. “So this will provide them an area to do that type of training with some more space.”
The studio will be the first of its kind on the campus, Rowh said, which will help set the ERC apart from other college gyms.
“We haven’t really done something like this in our building,” said Rowh. “We’ve repurposed many spaces in the past 10 years, but this is really a center fixture in our building and in a high-traffic area.”